Mediocrity and creativity

I just saw an interesting post on the Soflow Creative Forum (subscription req'd) that made me think. The poster posited:

    There will always be the mediocre guy, right? The one with half-baked ideas and weak weltanschauung that invariably invites the roll of the eyes or the sailing of the palm over the head indicating "clueless".

    Does mediocrity play an important part by showing/reminding creatives "where not to go"? He's the fall guy, the brunt of endless humor, the targeted laugh of the day.

    Where would we be without the guy who does the boring stuff, the tedious busy work that no one wants to get stuck with?

    Or where would we be without the lukewarm work of someone else?

    If we were all instense, amazing, prolific and wonderful artists, then what?

Meeting planning to me seems like a mix of the creative and the prosaic—at least on the surface. But even the most prosaic parts, say, registration or bag-stuffing, also has lots of room for creativity (I was so proud of myself for coming up with a better way to stuff bags at our first annual Pharmaceutical Meeting Planners Forum). Is there a place in meeting planning for mediocrity, if for no other reason than to make the stars shine brighter? I understand the need for the "workhorses" who just get it done, but I'd argue that there really isn't.

But I was surprised at the answers the original poster got, which ranged from "mediocrity is just a matter of semantics" to "in some organizations, it's better to be 'in the safe zone' of mediocrity than to stick your neck out to try something different." Is that why so many meetings are mediocre, because planners are afraid to step out of the safe zone for fear that the neck that sticks out gets chopped? Or is it just inertia, the "we've always done it that way so why mess with success" syndrome?

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